Mom Charged with Manslaughter After Co-Sleeping with and Killing Baby

Can the very good ever outweigh the tragically awful?

Co-sleeping is one of those hot button parenting issues: some of those who do it swear by the benefits of the closeness that comes with slumbering and, by extension, bonding with their offspring. Some of those who don’t co-sleep often fear there is the potential for more harm than good when sharing a bed with an infant.

A mom in Minnesota, Toni Annette Medrano, 29, has been charged with two counts of second-degree manslaughter after allegedly rolling over on her infant son in her sleep and killing him, according to The Huffington Post (via the Star-Tribune).

One of the charges, for “culpable negligence creating unreasonable risk,” and the other, for “committing or attempting to commit a violation,” might just have had to do with the fact that she had consumed an entire fifth of vodka before going to sleep.

It was on Nov. 21, 2011, that Medrano came home drunk and fell asleep with her 3-week-old son Adrian, placing him between her and a couch cushion. In the middle of the night she woke up to give him some formula, went back to sleep and woke up three more times, although without leaving the couch, even as her three older kids were getting ready for school.

Not until 10:30 in the morning did she realize Adrian was “cold and purple.” The medical examiner determined the cause of death was “asphyxia due to being laid upon while sleeping with an adult.”

A call to 911 was made by Medrano and her husband, but poor, sweet baby Adrian was pronounced dead regardless, at which time his mom’s blood alcohol content was measured at 0.11. The legal limit for driving in Minnesota is 0.08.

The criminal complaint against Medrano states that her husband told her that, “she should not lie on the couch with the baby as she could fall asleep and suffocate the baby.”

Last fall the American Academy of Pediatrics issued updated guidelines about how sleep-related infant fatalities can be reduced. Among the recommendations is that while babies should sleep in the same room as parents so they may be monitored closely, they should not sleep in the same bed. Co-sleeping increases the risk of suffocation, according to the AAP.

Do stories like this tragic one affect your opinion on co-sleeping?

Photo credit: iStock




Article Posted 4 years Ago

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